Nothing quite says “summer” like a big slice of watermelon on a hot day. Walk with us as we weave our way through the WONDERful world of the watermelon!

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a vine-like flowering plant. The fruit of this plant — what we commonly call a “watermelon” — is considered by botanists to be a pepo. A pepo is a berry with a thick rind and a fleshy center.

So, botanically, watermelons are fruits, and most people think of them as fruits since they’re so sweet and juicy. However, watermelons are grown in gardens like a vegetable. Because they’re grown like a vegetable and related to the cucumber, squash and pumpkin, some people think of them as vegetables.

Experts believe watermelon first developed in the Kalahari Desert region of Southern Africa. Archaeologists have found ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that show the first watermelon harvest occurred at least 5,000 years ago.

When you bite into a piece of watermelon, you instantly know how it got its name. Each bite of watermelon contains about 92 percent water and 6 percent sugar. Since it consists mostly of water, its name makes perfect sense!

Despite being mostly water with a bit of sugar, watermelon is considered a very healthy snack. Its high water content helps keep you hydrated. Watermelon is also a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene.

Did you know that you can also eat watermelon rinds? It’s true!

Although many people don’t like their flavor, watermelon rinds are often cooked as a vegetable in China, which produces more watermelons than any other country in the world. The Chinese stir-fry, stew and even pickle watermelon rinds.

If you ever visit Japan, you might not recognize watermelons if you’re looking for large, round melons. Japanese farmers have developed ways to grow watermelons shaped like cubes. In addition to being unique, square watermelons turn out to be much easier to stack.

One of the other famous parts of the watermelon is its seeds. Why? They’re used hundreds of times every year during watermelon seed-spitting contests.

No one knows for sure how such interesting competitions got started, but they have become a very popular part of county fairs and summer celebrations all around the country.

So just how far can someone spit a watermelon seed? Pretty far! Jason Schaynot of Georgetown, Texas, holds the world record. In 1995, he spit a watermelon seed an incredible 78 feet 6 inches!

 

92 Join the Discussion

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    • Happy Monday, Kerrick Elementary School 2nd/EBD classroom! We agree that the carved watermelon was very BEAUTIFUL! We hope the water main at Kerrick Elementary gets fixed fast! :-)

  1. My kids and I were eating watermelon yesterday! My daughter asked me just this very same question! Glad I got an answer, thank You!!=)

    • Today’s Wonder of the Day® has certainly struck a sweet chord with folks, Veronica! We think it’s because so many people love to eat watermelon and share it with family and friends! It’s the perfect summertime snack! Thank you so much for your comment! :-)

    • Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis and for letting us know you learned some new things about watermelon today, Sallye! Have a SWEET day! :-)

    • Well, we think meeting new Wonder Friends like you is the COOLEST, Dj HotCakes! Thanks so much for hanging out in Wonderopolis today and for leaving us such a nice comment! :-)

    • Thanks so much for leaving us such nice comments, Ashlee, Destini and Bulldogs! We really hope you like Wonderopolis and visit us again tomorrow! :-)

    • Thanks for being friends of Wonderopolis and leaving such WONDERful comments today, Connor, Joycelynn and Kyra! :-)

  2. The guy who carved it is so awesome! The watermelon he carved was so cool. I would like to take a bite out of that!

    • Hi there, Freckle Face and Zebr2322! Thank you both for telling us how much you liked today’s Wonder of the Day® about watermelons! Be sure to visit Wonderopolis again tomorrow for another Wonder of the Day®!

  3. I thought that was so awesome and I hope you make another video for us to see and watch. I can’t wait to see it!

    • It makes us happy to learn how much you liked today’s Wonder of the Day® and video, Eeyore fan Erica, AWESOME273 and DJ Bacon Strips! We hope you visit Wonderopolis again tomorrow!

    • We think it’s really COOL when Wonder Friends like you leave us comments, Ashtyn, Felipe and Modesta! Thank you! :-)

    • We’re glad you all liked today’s Wonder about watermelons, Kaegan, Teddy and Korbin! Thanks for hanging out with us today and letting us know what you thought about Wonderopolis! :-)

  4. That was a really cool video. I would love to be able to make something as pretty as that! It must of taken a lot of practice and patience.

    • We agree, Sara! The watermelon carver must have practiced a LOT to be able to create something so beautiful! We wonder if he carves pumpkins, too? Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis today and for leaving such a great comment! :-)

  5. The wonder of the day was great! It was so cool how the person carved roses out of the watermelon. I wish I could do that.

    Maddy M.

    • Hi, Maddy! We bet you would be a GREAT watermelon carver! As a matter of fact, we bet you would be GREAT at anything you set your mind to! Thanks for being a friend of Wonderopolis! :-)

    • Hi, Garrett! Thank you for sharing what you learned from this SWEET Wonder of the Day® about watermelon! Do you like to eat watermelon? We think it is a tasty treat on a hot day…and it helps us stay hydrated! :-)

  6. WOW!!!!!! I’m so sp…sp…speechless!!!!!! That guy is just amazing! I learned so many things about watermelons! Who knew you can make watermelon rinds!…. or that it was developed in a desert! I’m hungry for watermelons now! Thanks, Wonderopolis! By the way, why not stop at a market, buy a watermelon, slice it, and eat it! hahahahahaha! :)

    • Thanks for leaving us such an enthusiastic comment, Some Person! We’re glad you learned new things from this Wonder of the Day®! We think eating a slice of watermelon would be an AWESOME idea! :-)

    • We agree completely, Elizabeth! He is VERY skilled at watermelon artistry. We thought the flowers he carved were very beautiful! Thanks so much for commenting on this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

    • We agree, A Muggle! Those watermelon flowers were much too pretty to eat. We think it would be so much fun to be able to carve fruit like that, though…it’s edible art! Thank you so much for your comment today! :-)

  7. That is really neat!!!! It didn’t tell us how much water was in the watermelon though! But, it was neat how the guy made it in to three flowers!!!! So cool.

    • We’re glad you thought the video for this Wonder was so cool, Kyle! The amount of measurable water in any watermelon depends on the size of the melon! A watermelon contains about 92% water. That means there is WAY more water in a watermelon that weighs 15 pounds than in one that only weighs 5 pounds! :-)

  8. Wooooooooooooow, that is very neat!!! It didn’t tell us how much water was in the watermelon though! But it was neat how the guy made the three flowers!!! That was so amazing. 92% in the watermelon! I think the watermelon weighs 5 pounds! I’m glad the video was a Wonder of the day. I am amazed he could do that. That man was really good. That man is skilled. those watermelons were too pretty to eat. Slice it, then eat it. Hahahahahahahaha!!! Watermelons are awesome!!! The watermelon that he carved was so cool! Have a watermelon for a special snack. Watermelons are very healthy and very good for you, too. Hey, Wonderopolis, do you like watermelons? That was the coolest watermelon art ever!!! Wonderopolis is the best website ever!!! Very interesting, to. Thank you so so so much for the bestest video ever in my whole life!!! We think it’s really cool when lots and lots and lots of friends give you more and more comments! You guys are the bestest writers ever!!!

    • That was a GREAT comment, Andrew! We really appreciate all the nice things you said about Wonderopolis…THANK YOU! We’re so glad you visit each day and learn new things! Oh, and YES! We love watermelon, too! :-)

    • Watermelons are awesome, we agree, Jourdan! Thanks for being such a great Wonder Friend and leaving us WONDERful comments! :-)

    • Hello, Rose! Thank you for letting us know you liked this Wonder of the Day®! We think it takes a lot of artistic ability to be able to carve a watermelon like the artist in the video! We thought it was awesome, too! :-)

    • That’s OK, Camille! You can explore this Wonder of the Day® to find out! Each watermelon is a different size and shape, so it’s the percentage of water that counts! :-)

  9. Watermelons are the tastiest fruit in the whole wide world! I wonder what was the largest watermelon in the world? How big was it? Where was it found at? Every summer, my grandma buys some watermelons. I could eat 6 slices of watermelon right now!

  10. I really love it, it’s so cool. Do you know Vid Nikolic? Please tell me. He is so cool. I need to ask him to teach me to make it. Please tell me. I tried to do it but I failed at it.

    • Thanks so much for WONDERing more about the talented watermelon carver in the video for this Wonder, Rosie! We don’t know Mr. Nikolic, but we think he’s an AWESOME artist! Because we choose videos from many different places to accompany our Wonders of the Day (like YouTube and Vimeo), we don’t always know everything about the people in them. We make sure the videos are safe for our Wonder Friends to view, though! :-)

    • We liked the video for this Wonder a lot, too, Ricardo! It’s AWESOME that the artist could carve something so WONDERful from a simple watermelon! Thanks for being a GREAT Wonder Friend and sharing your comment with us today! :-)

  11. I just wanted to thank you for all the intelligence you guys have given me. You guys rock and I will always be your little “wonder friend” but right now I need your opinion which wonder is your favorite wonder of all time that I should right about in my Wonderopolis report? Thanks again for bringing me knowledge!

    • HOORAY, we’re so happy that you’re WONDERing with us, Caroline R! Thanks for sharing your comment and using your imagination!! We hope to see you soon! :)

  12. I thought that video is super great, because the guy has a lot of talent to make that rose out of a watermelon! Maybe I can draw a person, but I can’t carve a watermelon and count it as art. If I did that it’ll look like pish posh. Well… I’ll keep WONDERing WONDERful questions! :D

    • We are so excited to read your comment, Wonder Friend Shalize! Thanks for telling us about your favorite parts of our Wonder video– we bet you can use your awesome imagination to create some food art in the future, too! We hope you have a WONDERful day filled with COOL ideas and lots of SMILES! :)

    • We are so glad you are thinking about cool ways that you can try your hand at food art, Brandon! :) We hope you’ll keep up the great WONDERing, Brandon! :)

  13. I love decorating cakes but I can’t get a hold of the rose. I come on wonderopolis every morning and this wonder is so far the greatest. Thanks wonderopolis. ;)

    • We’re so glad you’ve been visiting us every morning, Wonder Friend CakeDesigner123! It’s a joy to Wonder with you!

      It sounds like you’re an adventurous cake decorator– keep up the AWESOME work! Practice makes perfect and we hope you’ll keep trying that decorative rose! :)

    • We’re glad this Wonder made you smile, Benman47! We hope you have a SUPER day full of fun (and watermelon, too)! :)

    • Isn’t that amazing, Wonder Friend Amaris?! The man in the Wonder video is one talented food artist! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  14. That is AMAZING I can’t believe he can do that please tell me that was fake that was still AWESOME I don’t now what else to say except that was TERRIFIC how does he even do it? :)

    • We are still amazed, Jaden! What a talented food artist! :) We bet it takes a lot of practice and time to become a great artist like the person in the video! SUPER cool! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • How much water is in a watermelon?
  • Are all watermelons round?
  • How far can you spit a watermelon seed?

Wonder Gallery

kids and watermelon_shutterstock_50092831Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to have the most fun you’ve ever had learning math? It’s time to have a watermelon seed-spitting contest… and learn about measurement and averages while you’re at it!

First, you’re going to need a watermelon. Hopefully watermelons are in season right now where you live. If they are, go get one.

Slice it up and enjoy one of nature’s juiciest treats. As you eat, make sure you’re saving the seeds.

If you can’t find a watermelon right now, don’t worry. You can use a different kind of seed for this activity.

For example, sunflower seeds are available year-round in most grocery stores. They make a fine substitute for watermelon seeds.

When you’ve finished eating, it’s time to start spitting! Before you start, you’ll want to get a measuring device of some sort. A ruler would work, but a yardstick or a measuring tape would be even better.

Find a spot on a sidewalk or the street to have your contest. Get as many friends and neighbors as you can to participate. You’ll want to make sure you avoid grassy areas, since the seeds you spit might be hard to spot.

Mark a starting line on the ground that all contestants will stay behind. Have each contestant take turns spitting 10 seeds.

Use your measuring device to determine how far from the starting line each seed landed. Record all your results in a notebook.

Award prizes (we recommend a fat, juicy watermelon!) to the contestants who spit seeds the farthest overall and the farthest on average. To determine each contestant’s average seed-spitting distance, add up the total of all 10 individual measurements and then divide by the total number of attempts (10).

For example, if you spit seeds at distances of 20 inches, 21 inches, 22 inches, 20 inches, 23 inches, 25 inches, 24 inches, 21 inches, 22 inches and 23 inches, you would add up all those distances (221 inches total).

Then, divide that total by the number of attempts (221 inches divided by 10 attempts) to calculate the average distance (22.1 inches).

 

Still Wondering

Using Illuminations’ Water, Water lesson, students learn to compare the amount of water they use in daily life with the amount allotted for each person each day on a space shuttle!

 

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